December 19, 2013
Missing for four monthsMonday, September 9, 2013
Uruguayan found alive in Andes
A 58-year-old Uruguayan man who disappeared four months ago in the Andes Mountains was found alive yesterday, after he spent a brutal winter eating rats and raisins to survive.
Raúl Fernando Gómez Circunegui reportedly got lost in May. He was trying to cross the mountains from Chile to Argentina on foot because his motorcycle broke down.
Officials from the northwestern province of San Juan stumbled upon Gómez in a shelter 2,840 metres above sea level when they travelled there to record snow levels.
“The truth is that this is a miracle. We still can’t believe it,” San Juan Governor José Luis Gioja told the local Diario de Cuyo newspaper. “We let him talk to his wife, his mother and his daughter. ... I asked him: ‘Are you a believer?’ He told me, ‘No, but now I am.’”
Sugar, raisins, rats and the shelter’s leftover supplies kept Gómez alive through the winter. He lost 20 kilos during the ordeal and is dehydrated. He is receiving medical attention, according to reports.
A doctor who examined Gómez was surprised by the man’s resilience, according to Uruguayan newspaper El País.
“He’s a patient with high blood pressure, a history of smoking and signs of undernourishment,” the doctor was quoted as saying. But “he’s going to be fine and in a few days.”
—Herald with Reuters